A business plan is a written document that outlines what you have planned for your business. They can be used to present to investors to convince them to invest in your business. You can show potential employees and key partners your business plan to introduce and welcome them to your team. A business plan is typically divided into three parts, the first describes the concept, the second describes the marketing plan, and the third describes your financial plan. We’ll run you through you the 6 components of a good business plan.
The executive summary acts as an overview of your business and your goals for the future. It’s the first thing included in any business plans and gives an investor, employee, partner, or supplier an overview of what you’re all about. This is the most important part, or at least we think so since it’s the first impression of your business. Most people tend to write this part last after they’ve completed everything else.
This section highlights the research you’ve done on the market that assures that you’ll have a thriving business. In this section, you’re meant to figure out where there’s a gap in the market and what you’ can do to fill that gap. Having done your research on the market as a whole and your consumer base, you’ll show investors that you’ve done enough research to guarantee returns.
This is a lengthy part of the business plan as it highlights a lot of the key elements of how you plan on taking this opportunity to a thriving business. You’ll have to highlight your marketing strategy and the avenues you plan on using to get the word out about your business. You can outline key milestones that you plan to reach as well as a timeline for these milestones. This section is meant to show how you plan on bringing your idea to life, so be as detailed and specific as possible, making sure to supplement the content with research and graphics.
Company and Management Summary
One of the key components of a good business plan is defining your corporate structure. You aren’t going to get any loans or investors without outlining how you envision your company to look like. Do you have a hierarchal system, or is your structure flatter? Do you have directors and executives or chairs? These things are important to include in your business plan to show that your company, and the people you envision as part of it, will make for a sustainable business. Talk about where you’ll be located and why that’s a strong choice for your business. This is a great time to speak about what makes you and your team qualified to run the business.
We consider this the hard part because we have to talk about the boring stuff, the money. At the end of the day, money makes the world go round so having a financial forecast gives investors an idea of whether or not your business is worth investing in. Speak about what it’s going to cost to run the business and crunch the numbers. See how much you expect to make and highlight key numbers in your business plan. There are plenty of resources online to help you with this section!
The appendix is where you can include all of the things that supplement your plan. Surveys, charts, images, and logo ideas can all be put in the appendix. This is your time to show any supplementary information. Did you receive a grant? Add that in the appendix. Got approved for some funds? Add that in the appendix. Make sure you show your investors, shareholders, potential employees, and suppliers the whole picture.
Writing a business plan can be intimidating and scary, but it’s the first step in developing a strategy for a long career as a business owner. Do you have any tips for writing a solid business plan? Let us know in the comments!